Between Britney Spears‘s recent fragrance campaign, and that Frank Ocean song I’m still listening to, it looks like Cleopatra is coming back in a major way this year. NBC has just won a bidding war to produce a dramatic series centered around the last Pharoah of Egypt, Cleopatra. And, according to Deadline Hollywood, there’s been chatter about a new Cleopatra film that would star Angelina Jolie. Details inside!
Here’s the scoop:
In a competitive situation with two networks bidding, NBC has landed Cleopatra, a period drama about the famous Egyptian queen produced by Di BonaventuraPictures TV and ABC Studios. The project will be written by Michael Seitzman who penned the ABC/ABC Studios drama pilot Americana this past season. Seitzman is executive producing with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott…
The NBC project is described as an epic romance set in a world of sorcery, gods and monsters that centers on Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. The young queen makes a sacred pact with a goddess to win back her throne, igniting a curse and an infamous love triangle that changes the course of history, forever ending the 4,000 year dominion of the Pharaoh.
There have been numerous screen adaptations of the story of Cleopatra, most notably the 1963 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. There is also a high-profile newCleopatra movie percolating at Sony, with David Fincher attached to direct, Angelina Jolie to star and Scott Rudin to produce.
Read more about the project here.
Like most people, I’d be really interested in seeing more of Cleopatra on the big and small screens. Although, as a fan of historical accuracy, I’d also love to see this role go to an actress who actually looks the way Cleopatra herself. Last year I saw the King Tut/Ancient Egyptians exhibit at The Discovery Museum and once I saw all of the art and artifacts up close, I was embarrased at how misinformed I was, even with two parents who were professors of history. Images are extremely powerful, so I’ll be pretty annoyed if the Egyptian Pharoah looks more like a European Queen; unfortunately we don’t know exactly what Cleopatra looked like, so it gets tricky. Her father was of Greek ancestry, but some have suggested that her mother was a black African concubine.
I’ll also take huge issue with this project if they don’t use Frank Ocean‘s Pyramids (AKA the Cleopatra track) as the theme song. So there may be a lot of beef between myself and NBC as this movement unfolds, lol.
Okay, potential historical inaccuracies aside for just a moment (may my mother forgive me), who’s excited for this?! Cleopatra on TV? And Angie playing her in the [potential] movie?! My vote would be for Kerry Washington, but I suppose I’ll have to make that film myself. And Angie‘s not so bad ;)